The Decorator Source
Colin Gee relocated his antique business from Suffolk to Tetbury some 20 years ago, since then it has gone from strength to strength. Now located in a 4000 square feet Queen Anne town house with a 1000 square feet trade warehouse behind. It is the largest sole proprietor antique shop in the town.
The Decorator Source specialises in 18th century French and Italian furniture and accessories, preferring large scale items which Colin supplies to an ever growing list of trade, private, interior decorator and international buyers. As well as the more traditional stock there has been a recent addition of a range of antler, shell and driftwood furniture which is designed and made exclusively for The Decorator Source in their Somerset workshops where they are also able to make bespoke items for trade and private clients.
With over 30 years in the antique trade and an ever expanding business, Colin is quick to spot new trends in fashion and the market - "When we first came to Tetbury 20 years ago we specialised in papier mache trays on stands, we stopped doing that about 15 years ago because we thought it was rather old hat (but only after we felt that we had put one in every sitting room in North America!)"
Colin buys most of his stock personally from France and Italy, basing himself at his house in Northern France - "I've been doing this for the past 12 years and have built up a great network of suppliers who are on the road all the time and trade from home, they call me in England and let me know if they have anything which is our type of stock, if it sounds interesting they'll hold it for me. I go over every couple of weeks and have the items shipped back to our workshops for any restoration before displaying it in the shop. I have a reputation of being a very "picky" buyer because I will only buy stock which I think has genuine merit, I won't buy anything which I couldn't live with myself"
"Our customers want a high quality decorative look which is what I supply to them. The trick is to try to buy the goods before it "wings" it's way up to Paris or the fairs in the South of France"
Although the Decorator Source specialises in continental furniture and accessories, they also buy English Georgian pieces as well, preferably with an understated look. "Most of the stock originates from provincial chateaux and English country houses, we like things with scale" he adds.